Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Fixed Pitch Tiltrotor - The Build and In Action

**Update** I will start my next build of a Mini-Tiltrotor. Check back for updates! The components list can be found on my board

A Little Background

Ever since I saw a video (at the bottom of this post) of an RC Tiltrotor on Youtube, I have wanted to build one myself. In addition, I have wanted to build my own autopilot. Why build my own autopilot when there are plenty of cheap ones out there these days? Well... Because it is a lot of fun. Anyway, I've had a video of my tiltrotor on Youtube at night. Since filming it, it burned out an ESC. I finally got around to fixing it, mostly so I could take it apart and scrap it to build a tricopter. Yes, I know, a tricopter is not nearly as cool as a tiltrotor, but it is a much better development platform for autopilots. Don't worry, my tiltrotor days are not over. Once I have a stable autopilot, I will build one that converts to full forward flight. I promise.

Advantages of a Tiltrotor

At the expense of a slightly more complicated autopilot and mechanical complexity, a tiltrotor has half the motors, ESCs, connectors, propellers, and power as a quadrotor. Essentially, a cheap tiltrotor can be significantly cheaper than a comparable quadrotor. And they are cooler. Yup. That's about it.

Flight Video

How It Works

Some of you might be wondering how this thing even flies. I plan on doing a multi part video on how things fly that includes something like this fixed pitch tiltrotor. For now, we will have to use a simplified diagram of the forces to understand how a fixed pitch tilt rotor can work.